7 Bootstrapping Tricks For First-time Entrepreneurs

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Not all startups have the luxury of getting investors from the very beginning. So, you have to fund your business out of your own pocket. This is what is called bootstrapping.

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While this is a good way to start a business, bootstrapping is more difficult than it might seem especially for first-time entrepreneurs.

Here are 7 bootstrapping tricks to make funding your own business easier.

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1.Carefully pick your co-founder

When bootstrapping, the majority of the work is done internally, so co-founders need to complement each other’s skill sets. If you’re good at different things, you have a better shot at being able to do everything between the two of you thus keeping expenses low.

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2. Have a business model that generates cash ASAP

The most successful bootstrapped companies have a business model that generates cash as quickly as possible. Without any cash inflow, you will exhaust your cash pool before gaining any serious traction.

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3. Reduce personal expenses

Without a salary, you won’t have money to spend–so don’t expect to live a luxury life when first starting your company. Consider every purchase and only spend what’s necessary.

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4. Do not outsource jobs you can do yourself

When bootstrapping, hiring someone for a job you could do yourself is a foolhardy expense. So, whether you are very busy or not, you should never outsource jobs you can do yourself.

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5. Watch out for intending investors

Bootstrapping does not mean you should not watch out for prospective investors. So, keep an eye out for people who may be willing and able to invest in your business. Build relationships with them, but don’t ask for money until the time is right.

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6. Start marketing before you think you’re ready

Many entrepreneurs wait until their product is ready before they start marketing. This is not advisable especially if you are offering a product that people are interested in. Therefore, find good, cheap, effective ways to reach your potential customer in the early stages of your business. And whatever profits you do make, put as much back into marketing as you can.

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7. Invest instead of spending

Don’t spend money on anything that doesn’t have the ability to put money directly back into your business. View the expense of these items as an investment, but be sure the investment has the ability to provide you with a positive Return On Investment.


5 Things Nigerians Need To Know Before Putting Their Money In Bitcoin

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Bitcoin is a type of digital currency in which encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of units of currency and verify the transfer of funds, operating independently of a central bank. Bitcoin is now worth $4,317. Due to this, many are encouraging others to invest in the cryptocurrency. Nigerians are slowly embracing Bitcoin. In line with this, we share 5 things Nigerians must know before joining the Bitcoin train.

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1.More people are using Bitcoin

Despite the fact that some Nigerians are struggling to accept Bitcoin, more people are embracing it after years of gradual growth. Hence, whether we like it or not, Bitcoin is the future and we have no choice than to use it.

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2. Retailers and vendors are accepting Bitcoin

You can now pay for whatever you purchase online with Bitcoin as some retailers have made it possible to settle transactions with it. Some notable companies that accept Bitcoin include Expedia, Microsoft, Subway, Newegg, TigerDirect, Tesla and PayPal. So, do not be surprised when some Nigerian companies start to accept Bitcoin.

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3. Bitcoin transfers are fast and flexible

While many financial institutions charge you or take days to process transactions, Bitcoin allows transfers from one account to another almost for free. Of course, you must already have your money in Bitcoin form. There is no need for any middlemen. As a result, the transfer is seamless.

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4. Extremely volatile

Bitcoin is still growing like earlier mentioned and there are a number of market factors that influence it. It very dependent on the rules of demand and supply. The more people are willing to buy Bitcoins, the more the Bitcoin value will increase. Conversely, if more people sell, the prices will decline.

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5. Treat it as speculating, not an investment

Cryptocurrencies have a bright future as a new way to conduct commerce and business. That is not the same thing as saying that their value right now is sustainable. It’s early days yet, and, while the number of businesses accepting cryptocurrencies are growing, it’s not big enough for most of the demand to be built on legitimate trade. This means that buying cryptocurrencies is speculation, not investment. Hence, you should be willing to lose the money you invest in buying Bitcoin!

4 Surprising Traits of a Good Investment Opportunity

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In today’s world, there are more and more investment opportunities opening up to potential investors. As a result, it becomes necessary for potential investors to have knowledge of some of the important traits of a good investment opportunity to help make right investments.

Here are 4 surprising traits of a good investment opportunity:

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1.Company is Buying Back Shares

At first glance, you might think this is a sign of business that is not doing well but businesses that buy back their shares are many times doing so to increase the wealth of their current and longstanding shareholders, which prima facie makes this a more lucrative investment opportunity.

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2. An Easy to Understand Business Model

Many times, the simpler a company’s business model is the easier it is to run, which means the business will more likely be stable and have a good growth curve. This in the end translates into a lucrative investment opportunity because of its propensity for stable and sustainable growth and development.

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3. Viability in the Long-Term

You should try to stay away from investing in companies that don’t seem to have prospects of long term viability, this is because most money made in business investments comes from owning stocks in a company for quite a while, then leaving it alone until the value of your currency rises and reinvesting your dividends. This tends to pay off much better than rapidly buying and selling stocks in a business.

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4. Promising Market Cap

It is a good idea to compare the market cap of the business you are looking to invest in to similarly priced businesses. This will help you determine whether or not the stocks are going to be worth what you are paying for them.

Jury Appointed for the Nigeria Travel Awards

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Lagos, Nigeria, January 25, 2018— The organising committee of the Nigeria Travel Awards, organised by Jumia Travel, has announced the appointment of Folorunsho Coker, DG, Nigeria Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) as a jury member for the 2nd edition of the Awards. Others include Michael Balogun, CEO Tour2Nigeria; Babatunde Onibudo, MD Pearlwort Hotel; and Omolara Adagunodo, MD, Jumia Travel.

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Folorunsho Coker, DG, Nigeria Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC)

The jury’s decision will contribute 50% of the outcome, while the other 50% will be from the public through a voting process.

Meanwhile, the award ceremony which was slated to hold today January 25th has been postponed to Thursday, February 1st, 2018. According to the Head of PR & Marketing for Jumia Travel, Olukayode Kolawole the change of date will provide ample time for more people to vote.

There 7 categories to be awarded include: Customers’ Favourite Hotel 2017, Customers’ Favourite International Airline Company 2017, Best Destination Website 2017, Jumia Travel’s Booking Award 2017, Traveler’s Choice Hotel 2017, Best Leisure Hotel in Nigeria 2017, and Best Business Hotel in Nigeria 2017

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Ibis Hotel Ikeja

The nominees for the Customers Favourite Awards are: Ibis Hotel Ikeja; Golden Tulip Festac; Federal Palace Hotel & Casino; Southern Sun Hotel & Towers; Owu Crown Hotels; Greatwood Hotels LTD; Newland Luxury Apartments; Citiheight Hotels; Pearlwort Hotel & Suites; Southern Sun Ikoyi; and Park Inn by Radisson.

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The nominees for the Customers’ Favourite International Airline are: British Airways; Turkish Airlines; Ethiopian Airlines; Air France; Etihad; Emirates; Egypt Air; & Rwandair.

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The nominees for the Customers’ Favourite Local Airline are: Medview Airlines; Dana Airline; Arik Air; Air Peace; Azman Air; Overland Air; and Aero.

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The nominees for the Best Travel Blog/Website are: TVP Adventures; Unravelling Nigeria; Travel With A Pen; EatTechTravel; Social Prefect; Irinajo; Naija Adventures; Khalid, The Workaholic; and Naijanomads.

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The nominees for the Best Business Hotel are: Ibis Lagos Airport; Pearlwort Hotel; Eko Hotel; Radisson Blu Anchorage; Rockview Hotel Classic Abuja; Presken Hotel & Resorts; Ibis Lagos Ikeja; Hampton Suites; Hotel Seventeen; and Tahir Guest Palace.

The awards aim at promoting Nigeria’s tourism sector, and responds to the need of encouraging hoteliers to improve the quality of their services for further advancement of their respective destinations.

In Nigeria, vote here.

Follow the Awards conversation on social networks: #JumiaTravelAwards2018

5 Tricks To Get More Turnover This Year

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As a startup, you may think it is impossible to market what you do. That’s no excuse. These proven tips which will assist you in getting the word out about your business and watch as it grows.

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1.Give your product away

If you are very sure about your product, you should give it away without collecting a dime. Once customers taste this unexpected your product for free, they will line up at their local store to buy it or even request that the store carry it.

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2. Attend networking events

Taking advantage of networking events to push your business. You will probably meet people who are interested in your product and are either willing to partner or patronise you. If you can, you can create your own event.

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3. Send a weekly e-mail

If you want to maintain the relationship with your customers, there is nothing simpler than creating a weekly e-mail that provides something of value to them. You can send the email once a week or daily. The important thing is to ensure the emails are relevant to the receiver.

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4. Sponsor an organization

Many local organizations are not that expensive to sponsor for a year if you consider the so-called per meeting cost. If your product or service is a good fit with their audience, you will get exposure every time the organization sends out an e-mail and a mention every time they meet. Attendees always remember and appreciate companies who sponsor their favourite organizations.

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5. Create a cool giveaway

When thinking through what your company will give away make sure it’s something customers won’t want to throw away or easily lose in their desk or bag.

11 Secrets to Becoming Rich, Successful, and Happy in 2018

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Even though we all define “rich” differently — and we should — most of us factor at least some degree of wealth into our equations.

Yet we also want to feel successful. You don’t have to make a lot of money to be a success.

And we definitely want to be happy.

Can you have all three? Sure. It isn’t easy, but it is possible. Here’s how:

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1. Stop focusing on money.

While it sounds counterintuitive, maintaining a laser-like focus on how much you make distracts you from doing the things that truly contribute to building and growing wealth.

So shift your perspective. See money not as the primary goal but as a byproduct of doing the right things.

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2. Start tracking how many people you help, if only in a small way.

The most successful people I know — both financially and in other ways — are shockingly helpful. They’re incredibly good at understanding other people and helping them achieve their goals. They know their success is ultimately based on the success of the people around them.

So they work hard to make other people successful: their employees, their customers, their vendors and suppliers… because they know if they can do that then their own success will surely follow.

And they will have built a business — or a career — they can be truly proud of.

3. Stop thinking about money and start thinking about service.

When you only have a few customers and your goal is to make a lot of money, you need to find ways to squeeze every last dollar out of every transaction.

But when you find a way to serve a million people, many other benefits follow. Word of mouth is hugely magnified. The feedback you receive is exponentially greater — and so are your opportunities to improve your products and services. You get to hire more employees and benefit from their experience, their skills, and their overall awesomeness.

And in time, your business becomes something you never dreamed of — because your customers and your employees have taken you to places you couldn’t even imagine.

Serve a million people — and serve them really well — and the money will follow.

4. See making money as a way to make more things.

Generally speaking, there are two types of people. One makes things because they want to make money; the more things they make, the more money they make. What they make doesn’t really matter that much to them — they’ll make anything as long as it pays.

The other wants to make money because it allows them to make more things. They want to improve their product. They want to extend their line. They want to write another book, record another song, produce another movie. They love what they make and they see making money as a way to do even more of what they love. They dream of building a company that makes the best things possible… and making money is the way to fuel that dream and build that company they love.

While it is certainly possible to find that one product that everyone wants and grow rich by selling that product… most successful businesses evolve and grow and, as they make money, reinvest that money in a relentless pursuit of excellence.

Like Walt Disney said, “We don’t make movies to make money, we make money to make more movies.”

5. Find your happiness in the success of others.

Great business teams win because their most talented members are willing to sacrifice to make others happy. Great teams are made up of employees who help each other, know their roles, set aside personal goals, and value team success over everything else.

Where does that attitude come from? You. Almost every truly successful entrepreneur feels a major chunk of his or her happiness comes from enjoying the success of employees and customers.

Do you?

6. Cultivate dignity and respect.

Providing employees with higher pay, better benefits, and greater opportunities is certainly important. But no level of pay and benefits can overcome damage to self-esteem and self-worth.

The most important thing truly successful entrepreneurs provide employees, customers, vendors — everyone they meet — is dignity.

And so should you, because when you do, everything else follows.

7. Do one thing better…

Pick one thing you’re already better at than most people. Just. One. Thing. Become maniacally focused at doing that one thing. Work. Train. Learn. Practice. Evaluate. Refine. Be ruthlessly self-critical, not in a masochistic way but to ensure you continue to work to improve every aspect of that one thing.

Financially successful people do at least one thing better than just about everyone around them. (Of course it helps if you pick something to be great at that the world also values–and will pay for.)

Excellence is its own reward, but excellence also commands higher pay–and greater respect, greater feelings of self-worth, greater fulfillment, a greater sense of achievement…all of which make you rich in non-monetary terms.


8. Then list the best people at that one thing…

How did you choose them? How did you determine who was the best? How did you measure their success?

Use those criteria to track your own progress towards becoming the best at what you choose.

If you’re a developer, it could be the number of people who use your software. If you’re a leader, it could be the number of people you train and mentor to reach their goals. If you’re an online retailer, it could be conversion rate or sales per transaction or on-time shipping…

Don’t just admire successful people. Take a close look at what makes them successful. Then use those criteria to help create your own measures of success. And then…

9. Then do more of what you do best.

Another benefit of building a team is that it allows you to do a lot more of what you do best.

Say you’re great at selling. Why perform admin tasks when your time is better spent with customers? Or maybe you’re great at creating awesome processes. Why spend time creating social-media marketing campaigns when you could be streamlining your distribution channel?

Every person has something they do that makes the biggest difference on their personal bottom lines. The most successful people find ways to do a lot more of that… and a lot less of everything else.

10. Relentlessly track your progress.

We tend to become what we measure, so track your progress at least once a week against your key measures.

Maybe you’ll measure how many people you help. Maybe you’ll measure how many customers you serve. Maybe you’ll check off the key steps on your journey to becoming the world’s best at the thing you chose.

More likely, you’ll measure a combination of these, and more.

11. Build routines that ensure your success.

Never forget that achieving a goal is based on creating routines. Say you want to write a 300-page book. That’s your goal. Your system to achieve that goal could be to write four pages a day — that’s your routine.

Thinking about your goal won’t get you to a finished manuscript, but sticking faithfully to your routine will.

Or say you want to land 50 new customers. That’s your goal; your routine is to contact a certain number of leads per day, check in with a certain number of current customers, network with a certain number of potential partners… your routine is what you will do, without fail, that will allow you to achieve your goal. Follow that routine and faithfully meet your deadlines and if your plan is great, you will land your new customers.

Wishing and hoping won’t get you there. Sticking to your routine will, especially when you ruthlessly measure your progress, fix what doesn’t work, and improve and repeat what does work. Success is almost guaranteed when you refine and revise and adapt and work hard every day to be better than you were yesterday.

And probably without even noticing, you’ll also be rich — and more importantly, a lot happier, because you’ll like how you got there.


Jeff Haden is a ghostwriter and Inc. Magazine columnist.

4 Critical Things to Consider When Choosing a Business Partner

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Sadly, great businesses can be and have been severely damaged by bad partnerships because many times, once a partnership is established, it can be incredibly hard to dissolve; this is why it is very important for entrepreneurs to be extremely careful and meticulous when choosing a business partner for their business.

Here are 4 critical things to consider when choosing a business partner:

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This isn’t just about whether the two of you are friends, it’s about how well his/her goals, values and responsibilities are aligned with yours. Take a look at the person’s personal life and how stable it is, consider carefully if the person is actually a good person, a good friend, not just how well you get along with the person. You might get along with someone well but when you consider things closely, the person might not actually be a true friend, he/she might not be capable of having your back when it truly matters. So, to avoid personal problems that can easily complicate your business, it is best to look well before you leap and consider how good a friend the person is. before going into partnership with him/her.

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2. Trust

This should be obvious to many entrepreneurs but many times, entrepreneurs choose people they don’t fully trust as business partners for one reason or the other. For one to be your business partner, there must be trust between the both of you. Choosing someone you don’t trust to be your business partner is simply a recipe for business disaster.

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3. Consider Consultancy

This is more or less the next best thing to do to avoid the cost of hiring someone as an employee when you can’t afford to. You simply hire the person as a consultant rather than hiring the person as an employee. This is also an especially useful alternative when dealing with people you don’t consider entirely trustworthy enough to go into a partnership with. Since you can’t afford to either offer them a partnership or hire them as employees, you can simply hire them as consultants to save cost. It is not always the best idea to offer every tom, dick and harry that is ‘good at the job’ a partnership because you can’t afford to hire them as employees; you can simply hire them as consultants and avoid giving away a part of your company only to regret it later.

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4. Consider Strengths

The strengths of your business partner should complement your weaknesses. It doesn’t make business sense if both you and your business partner have weaknesses in the same areas, one has to complement the other, or at least not be as weak as the other in the same areas. For example, if all your business partners including yourself are good at sales but weak at executing on an operational level, it will only spell doom for your business in the near future. It’s much better to keep some balance and bring in partners who will complement each other’s strengths.

Five Things To Consider Before Expanding Your Business

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Entrepreneurs are decision-makers. They take decisions on the path or direction to drive their business. One of such decisions they have to take is when to expand their enterprise. Whether you get it right or wrong, your conclusions will have a groundbreaking impact on your business. Obviously, you do not want to get such a key decision wrong and join the approximately 70% to 80% of startups that fail within 5 years in Africa. As such, Jumia Travel, the leading online travel agency, shares the things you have to consider before expanding your business.

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1.A clear strategy

The strategy is laying a clear roadmap ahead for the company to achieve its vision and mission. Without this, your expansion may be a totally foolhardy risk.

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2.Stability of your financial report

You should look to the data contained in your financial reports to determine the viability of an expansion at the current moment. The reports should show increasing profits, a firm handle on salary payment and good control over purchasing expenses.

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3.Relationship with customers

The truth is most companies in their early days do everything to keep their customers happy, and during their expansion phase, they fall apart in terms of customer service. Take this opportunity to build a rapport with your target group to win them over to your side. This is essential if the relationship is strained. If you cannot keep your customers happy, you really have no business expanding because there will be endless complaints which will not only ruin the reputation of your business but can also lead to business failure when you start losing them.

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4.Effectiveness of your workforce

A business depends on a well-trained, effective workforce to handle day-to-day activities. If you can rely on your staff to do their work tasks in an efficient manner, no matter what conditions throw at them, you are ready to utilize this essential resource to expand your business.

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Funding is perhaps the most important. Without capital, the business expansion will be near impossible. One trending way to get funds is through venture capitalists or serial investors who are willing and ready to invest in viable businesses. Don’t hesitate to take advantage of them by pitching to them. If your pitch is endorsed, they will pump money into your business and you can then expand.

4 Insights That Will Change the Way You Think About Money

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Money can indeed be a very dynamic concept. There are a lot of lessons to learn and apply to be able to truly manage money and get it to answer to you.

Here are 4 insights that will change the way you think about money.

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1.Regardless of the Size of Your Paycheck, You Probably Already Make Enough Money to Become Rich

This nugget of wisdom was given by a man called David Bach, an American self-made millionaire. According to him, the amount of money you make has little or no bearing on how you can build wealth. It’s not so much about how much you make, but about how you can keep it. The key is to start as early as possible with savings and investments, no matter how little they might be. This will make it possible for you to reap the full benefits of compound interest.

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2.It Takes Time

The golden rule of savings and investments is really to think long term and start as early as possible. According to Warren Buffet, ‘It’s pretty easy to get well-to-do slowly. But it’s not easy to get rich quick.’ The money made in investments is by investing, owning and managing these investments for long periods of time.

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3.Secure Your Financial Future By Getting Paid What You Are Worth

If you know your worth in an organization, there is no reason to sit back and waste away in underpaid oblivion. You really have to ask for what you want, however, there is a right and wrong way to go about asking for a raise. It is recommended that when asking for a raise, you look at the range for someone with your level of experience in the industry, this can help you understand your worth. You can then ask for a raise based on that information. If you have tried all you can and your current company still refuses to value your expertise by paying you what you’re worth, it is best to immediately start looking for one that will.

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The Best Investment You Will Ever Make is in Yourself

Grant Cordone, another American self-made millionaire, said this as an advice echoing the one his mother gave him when he was younger. Investing in yourself will always give you a return that nobody can take away from you. Get the necessary education and skills you need, and also learn to give whatever job you find yourself doing your best, even if the job is only temporary.

Meet Malik Ado-Ibrahim – He is set to Introduce Electric cars into Nigerian market by 2018

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Malik Ado-Ibrahim is the chairman of Nigus Enfinity, an indigenous firm which is set to introduce electric vehicles into the Nigerian automobile market in 2018 and a local assembly plant for electric vehicles in 2020.

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Ado-Ibrahim said several countries across the world have set targets for the ban of petrol-fuelled vehicles with India targeting 2030, and the United Kingdom, 2040.

He said Nigeria and Africa need to look inward to be at the fore of the automotive revolution or risk becoming waste bin for banned vehicles from other countries.

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Ado-Ibrahim, who was the first African to lead the Formula 1 Team global race car competition in 1999, said his firm is already building a 100 megawatts (mw) solar power plant in Katsina and another in Adamawa state.

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According to him, the company has also partnered with Build Your Dreams, a Chinese firm, to import electric vehicles at affordable costs from 2018.

“We are also working with BYD to get a local brand and start an electric vehicle assembly plant for Nigeria from 2020. Gradually we will move to an EV with the African DNA starting in Nigeria,” he said.

In June, Elon Musk had unveiled the world’s cheapest electric car, which was priced at N11 million.